NFL Week 7 Winners and Losers: Lamar and the Ravens Are Elite, the Bills Defense Is Lost, and Myles Garrett Is the DPOY Favorite

Who looked the best during Week 7 of the NFL season? Lamar Jackson, Buffalo's defense, Myles Garrett, and Tyson Bagent highlight Sunday's winners and losers.

As Week 7 of the 2023 season nears its conclusion, NFL contenders are beginning to separate from pretenders. With the league’s Oct. 31 trade deadline just over a week away, teams have to be realistic about where they stand.

Which clubs looked the best on Sunday, and who’s already looking ahead to next week? Here are all the winners and losers from Week 7.

From the current NFL standings to team depth charts to coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL schedule, we have all the news from around the league to keep you up to speed!

Winners and Losers From NFL Week 7

Winner | Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens were seemingly the quietest four-win team in the league through six weeks, but they’re no longer under the radar after moving to 5-2 with a 38-6 destruction of the Detroit Lions.

Baltimore’s dominant Week 7 performance would have been impressive against any club. But the Lions had looked like one of the NFL’s best teams — on both sides of the ball — this season, with their only loss coming to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime.

MORE: NFL Playoff Picture Week 7

Lamar Jackson was outstanding, posting the NFL’s second-highest single-game QBR (94.9) of the season while completing 21 of 27 attempts for 353 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Ravens’ passing offense finally looked like a Todd Monken production, and Lamar added another score on the ground.

Baltimore’s defensive effort might’ve been even more impressive, especially considering Detroit ranked fourth in yards per play and points per drive heading into Sunday’s game. The Ravens held Jared Goff to just 5.4 yards per attempt while sacking him five times. Baltimore DC Mike Macdonald might vault to the top of 2024 head coaching lists after today’s win.

Loser | Buffalo Bills

It’s impossible to overstate how much of an effect season-ending injuries to CB Tre’Davious White, LB Matt Milano, and DT DaQuan Jones have affected the Bills’ defense. Last week, Buffalo only allowed nine points to the New York Giants, but they permitted backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor to look competent and might have lost the game had Taylor not committed a first-half clock management error.

On Sunday, the Bills faced a New England Patriots that ranked dead last in almost every conceivable offensive metric — and let them put up a season-high 29 points.

Not only that, but Mac Jones — who’s looked like the NFL’s worst quarterback at times and has seemingly been on the verge of being benched all season — missed on just five pass attempts, took one sack, and led a game-winning, two-minute drive to put Buffalo away.

The Bills are now 4-3 and don’t look nearly like the team most expected to compete with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins at the top of the AFC.

Winner | Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns

Even though Deshaun Watson attempted just five passes before departing Sunday’s game, the Browns still managed to pull out a 39-38 win over the Indianapolis Colts in one of the craziest games of the season.

Cleveland’s defense posted its worst statistical performance of the year, giving up more than 450 yards of total offense and 6.8 yards per play to a Gardner Minshew-led Colts offense. But Myles Garrett continued to make his case for his first Defensive Player of the Year award, posting two strip-sacks (one of which was returned for a touchdown) and blocking a field goal.

Watson, starting for the first time since injuring his right shoulder in Week 3, lasted only nine plays before going down again. Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Watson absorbed a “big hit” on the same shoulder, adding Cleveland wanted to “protect (its) franchise quarterback” by holding him out. Watson is still expected to start next week against the Seattle Seahawks.

Winner | Chicago Bears QB Tyson Bagent

As the AP’s Josh Dubow noted, Tyson Bagent’s last start — when he was still at Division II Shepherd University — not only came against an opponent called the Colorado School of Mines, but it didn’t go very well. Bagent threw two interceptions and took eight sacks in a 44-13 loss.

His first NFL start went just a bit better.

Starting in relief of Justin Fields (dislocated thumb), Bagent helped the Bears to a 30-12 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, completing 73% of his passes in the process. While he averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt, Bagent kept the ball out of harm’s way and limited his mistakes, which is just about all you can ask from an undrafted rookie QB.

Loser | Las Vegas Raiders

Losing to Bagent was bad enough — but why did Josh McDaniels decide to start Brian Hoyer on Sunday?

Week 7 marked Hoyer’s 41st career start. The NFL knows who Hoyer is at this point. There was no reason that fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell — who started for the Raiders when Jimmy Garoppolo was sidelined in Week 4 — shouldn’t have started today’s game.

The Athletic’s Dianna Ruissini reported last week that McDaniels could soon be on the hot seat if Las Vegas didn’t start winning more games. Sunday’s loss to Bagent and the Bears probably cancels any goodwill McDaniels and the Raiders may have engendered with their Week 6 win over the Patriots.

Winner | Atlanta Falcons

While the Falcons had to fight through a penalty-filled slog on Sunday, they managed to pull out a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are now sitting on top of the NFC South.

Desmond Ridder didn’t throw any interceptions after Week 6’s three-pick game, but he lost three fumbles in the red zone. Still, he missed on only six passes while averaging 10 yards per attempt and led a game-winning field goal drive with 45 seconds left.

MORE: Week 8 NFL Power Rankings

Atlanta’s defense was even more notable. Ryan Nielsen’s unit completely shut down Tampa Bay’s offense in the second half, holding Baker Mayfield and Co. to just three points.

The Falcons weren’t dominant on Sunday, but a division win — combined with a New Orleans Saints loss on Thursday Night Football — makes for a good week.

Winner | Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce

The Patrick Mahomes-to-Travis Kelce is so effective that it feels like we’ve all become numb to it. Mahomes hit Kelce for 12 receptions, 179 yards, and a score on Sunday as the Chiefs won their sixth straight game.

Mahomes was nearly flawless against the Los Angeles Chargers, completing 32 of 42 attempts for 424 yards and four touchdowns. He hit four different pass catchers — Kelce, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Rashee Rice, and Isaiah Pacheco for scores, and his only interception came on a deep attempt that recent trade acquisition Mecole Hardman probably could have fought harder for.

The Chargers were supposed to be the Chiefs’ primary AFC West competition, but Los Angeles is now 2-4. Kansas City already has a three-game lead over second-place Raiders.

Mahomes and the Chiefs are creating a dynasty. Still, perpetual incompetence from the rest of the AFC West is starting to make the division resemble the woeful competition Tom Brady and the Patriots used to face in the AFC East.

Loser | Los Angeles Rams

The Rams to 3-4 by losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but they might have been denied a chance to make a last-second comeback.

Down 24-17 with 2:24 left in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles appeared to stop Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett on a 4th-and-1 sneak attempt. But a poor spot gave Pittsburgh the first down.

The play occurred outside the two-minute warning, and the Rams had no timeouts left. As such, the play was not put under an official review, while Los Angeles didn’t have the ability to challenge.

Sean McVay is notorious for wasting timeouts early in halves — after today’s loss, he may want to think about keeping a TO in his pocket.

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